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Education at the core of community development in Nosy Komba

 

 « Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world », this Nelson Mandela quote has proven its truthfulness in the lives of people in Nosy Komba where Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute (MRCI) has conducted environmental and English training classes for now six years. From kindergarten to adults, this environmental NGO has greatly invested in education for long term community development.  

 

English teaching to connect people to the world

 In Nosy Komba island where we can identify seven hotels and a lemur park attracting many visitors through regional cruises, speaking English is a dream for local people. Throughout five villages, MRCI provides up to two English teaching sessions per week for fifteen different classes depending on local people’s need and availability. Private and public schools, both students and teachers, women and men of all ages have benefited from English teaching classes in Nosy Be and Nosy Komba.

 According to Ismael LEANDRE, English teacher at « Ideal » College, a private school based in Nosy Be, children’s spoken English has improved so much as they know more vocabulary used in everyday life. Consequently, « Children become more active at school; I have noticed 90 % improvement of their speaking ability » he said. Ideal college has more than 450 enrolled students and its Director Mr Thonina REZY hopes MRCI’s intervention would be extended to film projection or some English song singing activities.

 

Although English is not officially part of national primary school curriculum in Madagascar, MRCI is holding English teaching in two classes for children in one Public Primary school in Marodoka – Nosy Be since 2015. The director Mrs Françoise MBOTY declares that this constitutes a pre-training for these students before their entry to high school.  

 

Technical and financial support to remote families

Building educational infrastructure is part of MRCI’s program for local development. Therefore, the same public school in Marodoka finds one of their classroom rebuilt by MRCI after being hit by cyclone. In Andrekareka Hely and Andrekareka Be, MRCI built new schools and provides school kits to children. The kindergarten school was so much appreciated in Andrekareka Hely as children don’t have to walk 1 km to go to the nearest school anymore; to sustain this, MRCI hired a Malagasy teacher. Establishing another classroom is to be done in the near future.   

 As there are no high schools in these small villages, MRCI gives scholarship to children getting their first certificate in primary school (CEPE) to study at Ampangorina high school and from there, scholarship are for students to attend college in Nosy Be.

 

As a result of all these endeavours, you would be lucky to meet a little girl in the forest running after you, saying proudly « hello » and engage basic conversation in English, self-confidence as proof of a successful education in an underprivileged community.

Published on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 09:57
Written by F. RAFIDIHARINIRINA
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